Friday, April 22, 2011

House hunting for the emotionally detached

I've heard it said that if people were only allowed to ever have one car, they would be very careful about what they bought and how they maintained it, and that's one good way to look at marriage.  Hmmmmm.

I'm looking for a condo to buy, so I can cut my monthly housing payment in half while building equity, taking on an enormous debt, and not broiling every winter watching my rent rise in heat waves from out of my open window. 

The loan guy at my credit union said, "Don't buy something if you don't really fall in love with it because you'll be stuck with it for years." 

This gave me pause.  Are houses like people?  Because if they are, chances are good that I won't fall in love with any house I look at. 

I'm somewhat practical.  I care if everything will fit and if I can adapt around the space.  Thus has it always been.  It's true that a mortgage gives weight to the space.  You are agreeing to pay for it for a time nearly equal to how long you've already been alive (but intending to at least double your payments to get the sucker paid off faster), and that's quite different from signing a yearly lease even if you intend to stay for years.  That questionable stain in the bathroom is harder to accept if you know you'll be looking at it for 15 years.

If I wait until I fall in love, I may be waiting forever, too long since my lease is up in July.  If I settle, I could end up allergic to the house or having all sorts of wonky problems I can't anticipate, and I'll still have to deal with them years later (in theory).

On the plus side, if I don't fall in love, I can't have my heart broken when someone else buys the dumb thing out from under me while I wait to hear back from the school I've applied to teach at . . . 

Lord, please give me peace and wisdom and only attainable housing crushes in the correct state.  Amen.

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